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#pounditSunday, May 15, 2022

Patriots still favored to win AFC East despite losing Tom Brady

Bill Belichick

Many New England Patriots fans are calming themselves down in the wake of Tom Brady’s departure by repeating one of their favorites mantras: “In Bill we trust.” Apparently Las Vegas oddsmakers share the same faith in the longtime head coach.

Even after Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Caesar’s Sportsbook in Las Vegas still lists the Patriots as a comfortable favorite to win the AFC East. New England’s odds are -110, meaning you would have to bet $110 to win $100. The Buffalo Bills have the next-best odds at +180, meaning a $100 bet would net $180.

The Patriots signed veteran Brian Hoyer on Sunday, and he is expected to compete with second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham for the starting job. While we have heard some fun speculation about New England potentially acquiring a star quarterback, they have barely any salary cap space remaining for 2020. That coupled with the coronavirus outbreak potentially shortening the NFL offseason makes it even more likely that Belichick will not bring in a veteran quarterback who has no familiarity with the Patriots’ offense system.

Belichick is always going to get the benefit of the doubt. The Patriots went 11-5 with Matt Cassel as their starting QB in 2008 after Brady tore his ACL, and New England’s defense was one of the better units in football last year. That said, there’s no debating the AFC East is as wide open as it has been in 20 years. No one would be stunned if the Patriots are finally dethroned next season.

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